Image source: アニプレックス on YouTube

A new Grail War has begun and things are different this time. But you can’t just make a new timeline without a few references to the old.

[Note: This article contains spoilers for Fate/Apocrypha’s first episode as well as Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night in general.]

Fate/Apocrypha is the latest addition to the Fate anime world. Right away, we are shown that things are very different from the rules we were introduced to back in Fate/stay night. First off, we have been shown that there are far more Servants than there are supposed to be, with the opening scene of the first episode being decorated with two Sabers fighting each other. So, how did all this happen?

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In the first episode, we are told that the Third Holy Grail War was ended when the Greater Grail—the wish-granting relic at the heart of the Grail Wars—was stolen from Fuyuki city, effectively creating a parallel timeline where the events of Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night never happened.

Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

That said, as every time travel/time changing story has shown, even though things can change vastly from how we remember them being, some things remain the same. The world of Fate/Apocrypha is different from the world of Fate/stay night or Fate/Zero, but that doesn’t stop it from making some references to catch fans’ eyes or ears. Here are the references that appear in episode one.

Waver Velvet/Lord El-Melloi II

One of the few survivors of the Fourth Holy Grail War from Fate/Zero, and a character who has made appearances or been referenced to in almost every Fate story. Though not referred to directly by name, we see Waver/Lord El-Melloi II in the episode explaining to his overly-eager student, Flat (See below)—and the viewer—as to the current events and why everything is happening.

Interestingly, despite the events of Fate/Zero never happening, we see that Waver still managed to grow to become the man he did in the original timeline. Some things are just meant to be, it seems.

Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

Flat Escardos

Waver’s overly-eager student and another character whose name is not mentioned making the reference easy to overlook. Viewers may have been confused as to why this nameless student appeared so prominently in the episode. Flat is one of the Masters from the Fate spin-off series, Fate/strange Fake.

Because Fate/strange Fake takes place years after the events of Fate/stay night—and it has already been established that Waver still managed to become the magic professor, Lord El-Melloi II—it stands to reason that Flat would also exist in this world.

Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

Shirou

The young priest sent by the Church as a supervisor for the Red faction, fans of Fate/stay night will probably recognize the same name as the protagonist, Shirou Emiya. In the first episode, we are only shown what he looks like from behind: a young man with spiky white hair. Looking at the credits at the end of the first episode, we see that his full name is Shirou Kotomine—implying a connection between him and the priest of the same name from Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night. Trailers also show the character as having golden brown eyes and tan skin, similar to Archer from Fate/stay night, which brings up all kinds of interesting possibilities.

Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

Fate/Apocrypha has only just gotten started and it looks like to be setting up a grand story with its own path and agenda. That said, for the fan in me, it’s nice to see homages paid to the other series that have come before as I prepare myself for what is yet to come.

Fate/Apocrypha will be streaming internationally on Netflix from November 7, 2017.

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